View Agenda for this meeting

REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
 MONDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2001 AT 7:30 PM
NOVI
CIVIC CENTER Ė COUNCIL CHAMBERS Ė 45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD

 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE JR. GIRL SCOUTS TROOP 3343

LEADER: Frances Longe

ROLL CALL: Mayor Clark, Council Members Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

1. Mayor and Council issues 1) Status of outstanding Village Oaks roads - Lorenzo

Proclamation for Fire Prevention week Ė Presentations - Clark

CM-01-10-270 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Cassis; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:

To approve the agenda as amended.

Vote on CM-01-10-270 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche,

Kramer

Nays: None

SPECIAL REPORTS - None

COMMITTEE REPORTS - None

PRESENTATIONS

1. Fire Prevention Week Proclamation

Mayor Clark read the Proclamation into the record and presented it to Assistant Chief Jeff Johnson who commented on ways to prevent fires and the most common sources of home fires. Jeff Johnson noted the open house would be Saturday, October 6th, at Fire House #1 from 10-2 p.m. Invited everyone to attend.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

1. Discussion of the proposed settlement of pending litigation (Sandstone) that, if approved, would include modifications to land use regulations applicable to two properties. (Included are parts of Sidwell Nos. 22-10-300-001, 002, 003, 004, 005, 006, 007 and 012. Also Sidwell Nos. 22-11-126-004, 22-11-200-006, 22-11-200-012 and 22-11-177-040).

Mayor Clark commented for the record that everyone who wished to speak would be afforded the opportunity to do so. He assured residents that neither he nor any member of Council arrived at this proposal lightly and it was the most difficult decision they would ever make as a Council. Every Council member took their oath of office as a public servant with the profound seriousness and the thought in mind to use their best efforts to protect the interests of the entire community and its long-term welfare long after they were gone. This Council didnít create but they did inherit the Sandstone litigation. Should anyone seek to cast aspersions or blame on the character and hard work of others that had gone before them would be counter productive, meaningless and would

not solve the problem that this community is confronted with now. We live in a litigious society where people sue at the drop of a hat for good reasons, bad reasons and often for no reason at all.

The judgment is now close to $70 million and growing at an interest rate of $20,000 per day and we are all potential payers of this judgement. We could go on with this appeal and still lose. We could win in part, lose in other parts, and still have a huge judgement to contend with or we could win. If we win we get a new trial with no guarantee of success and could be looking at a judgement with perhaps 10 years interest and in the neighborhood of $100 to $150 million dollars. If that was the case, the numbers given in the letter of public notice for a home with an SEV of $100,000 value would double and then for each increased $100,000 in your SEV double again.

No one in this room is happy about the potential of giving up 75 acres of parkland. Mayor Clark clarified that 75 acres, not 550 purchased acres, was the proposed acreage to be given away. If this Council didnítí think in their conscience and hearts that this proposed resolution was in the best long term interests of all segments of this community, they would not have proposed it. Council believed it was in the best interest of the community to end the litigation now. No homeowner should have to bear the burden of increased taxes for a problem they did not create. No young family living on a tight budget should have to sell their home and leave. No senior who planned to spend their golden years in this community should be forced to bear such a burden. No homeowner in this City should be at a competitive disadvantage when they sell their home in comparison to surrounding communities because of disproportionate taxes they might have to pay to pay off this judgement. No member of this community should be faced with a cut in city services. Mayor Clark asked everyone to be respectful of everyoneís viewpoints even if they disagreed. If you are speaking for a group, please try not to repeat the same comments but everyone would have the opportunity to speak. We are a tiny corner of this country and we at the same time are representative of the unity and love of those freedoms that make us the bull work of democracy and as Lincoln once said "that last best hope of mankind". Tonight we will show by example to those who would destroy our freedoms what democracy, free speech and a free press is all about. Mayor Clark also mentioned that normally in a public hearing they do not get into a question/answer debate mode but they would make notes and respond when appropriate.

Mr. Helwig reported on the five major points highlighted in the letter of notice. Sandstone still owns undeveloped land straddling new Novi Road just south of 13 Mile and most of the land is on the east side of Novi Road.

Under the PUD that Sandstone received early on to develop approximately 300 acres this acreage was permitted to be used for commercial purposes totaling 100,000 square feet. In Councilís approach to be creative and stay away from tax increases and other issues outlined by the Mayor, City Council agreed to raise the cap on the amount of square footage for commercial development on this property. It was raised from 100,000 sq. ft. to 170,000 sq. ft., which is more in line with what straight commercial zoning on those corners would have permitted prior to the PUD being approved.

City parkland Ė Again, trying to stay away from tax increases and looking

at the assets the City had, the City looked at 75 acres abutting 12 Mile Road running

approximately from the RR tracks east to Dixon Road and running deeper into the

property. Mr. Helwig hoped people had an opportunity to look at the maps to

understand how the 75 acres related to the total 550 acres that comprised the North

Novi Park. These 75 acres, if the proposal is adopted, would be conveyed to

Sandstone primarily for multi family use and an average density of 15 units per acre.

Because the land on 12 Mile Road is valuable the other side wanted to have a lot

more commercial than the 65,000 sq. ft. being suggested as a part of this proposal

and no one user could occupy more than 20,000 sq. ft. The spirit being to have

neighborhood based commercial on this small part of the 75 acres.

3. If we do not receive any insurance proceeds within 2 years from the date of this

settlement Sandstone has the ability to have conveyed to them another 20 acres

that runs across the top of the 75 acres for a total of 95 acres. Sandstone does not

want the additional 20 acres they want the insurance proceeds and we donít want to

part with any more park acreage.

4. During this process as part of the due diligence by both parties they learned that

associated with former orchards on some of this land is the discovery of arsenic

associated with the use of pesticides. The city would be obligated to clean up the

arsenic regardless of this proposed settlement. The $750,000 cash in our

judgement trust fund would go toward this cleanup and we would have

until January 1, 2003 to affect this cleanup.

If insurance proceeds are received the first $9.5 million would go to Sandstone. To

this date we have not received any indication that a single dollar would be

forthcoming. Anything above that, the City would retain half or 50 cents on the

dollar. All these funds would be placed in the cityís Park Development Fund

for land acquisition or further development initiatives to enhance our open space.

Please note, If the 20 acres is conveyed, it would be worth $4 million at a minimum

in value to the city. Meaning 20 acres at approximately $200,000 an acre or

whatever the fair market value is at that time would be credited toward the $9.5

million. If Sandstone receives the property the most they could receive of the $9.5

million was $5.5 million. There are two incentives for the City to aggressively pursue

insurance proceeds. First, is to retain the 20 acres, again if insurance proceeds are

received within two years of this settlement the 20 acres would not be conveyed.

Secondly, the fact that we would receive 50 cents on the dollar for any proceeds

above $9.5 million to go toward replacing/increasing our inventory of parkland and

the quality of parkland is another incentive for us.

Lynn Paul, 45761 Willingham, felt members of Council had given this inherited problem their attention. This brings to mind our nations rise to the challenge to deal with the tragic events of New York City. Many people see our Country as an opportunity to work hard and contribute while others see an opportunity to reek havoc. Inspite of the destruction, the U.S. citizens, their government and their allies stand together. Ms. Paul introduced Mei Teevens, an artist in our community who had met the designer of the World Trade Center and she was touched by the disaster of September 11th. Ms. Teevens used her compassionate talent as a painter to share her work and feelings with our City. This very special painting represents the many beliefs and symbols of our country. The flag represents our union as red, white and blue, thirteen colonies and fifty states. The World Trade Center represents the disastrous day when so many innocent people lost their lives. The Statue of Liberty proudly represents freedom in New Your harbor and the dove symbolizes peace. Ms. Teevens donated her painting to the City of Novi in honor of a very special Citizen. This citizen was raised by his grandfather who also served in government and instilled in his grandson the honor in serving his country. This person does his job humbly and without fanfare in the hope that he can improve the City of Novi for each citizen who lives and works here no matter what age, color or nationality. Today, for a brief moment we would like to shine a deserving light to honor Mayor Richard Clark by presenting this painting to him as the Mayor of the City of Novi.

Mayor Clark commented the painting was very moving and touching and he accepted it on behalf of the community and it would remain on display in City Hall from this day forward.

Robert E. Shaw Jr., 40612 Village Oaks Drive, read the following letter into the record.

On September 10, I appeared before you to receive a plaque recognizing nine years of service to the citizens of Novi, serving on the Parks and Recreation Commission. That was nice for me, but how two-faced it was of you to be pleasant and congratulatory when you knew that shortly you would be announcing a plan to destroy nine years of my work, and the work of many other citizen volunteers and city staff. Perhaps getting my plaque on the same night that prostate cancer awareness was promoted was truly fitting.

I am greatly pained by having to appear before you this evening. On April 16, during audience participation to discuss the city budget, I described to you the speculation and rumors in the construction community that Council was doing just exactly what is being proposed. I begged you not to consider such an approach. Some of you offered denials, others refused to talk about it, in essence indicating that the rumors were true. In some cases, your faces gave you away. In the Novi News, April 26 edition, the Mayor Pro Tem is quoted as saying, "there is no deal" to sell off parkland in Novi as a trade to settle the Sandstone lawsuit. Maybe not then, but one was being worked on. In fact, as stated in your public hearing notification letter, negotiations were begun in February. This is as deceitful as when Bill Clinton, in responding to a well-known question, answered by questioning the definition o£ the word "is."

At the joint meeting of the Parks and Recreation Commission and the City Council on May 10, which I was unable to attend, additional statements were made reassuring the Commission that the parkland was safe. As noted in the minutes of the meeting, Commissioner Colligan noted that "The excitement of owning the park has to satisfy us for now and the reassurance that it won't be used for a settlement with Sandstone was important to all of us." You did not correct his statement in the meeting. More deceit.

In May, I discussed with a politically experienced north end resident the possibility of a charter amendment to prohibit the Council from conveying this property, just as the residents had used a charter amendment to state clearly that they did not want a golf course or banquet facility there. Obviously, you were able to keep your plans under the radar screen long enough for the proposal period to pass. You were also able to keep your plans under the radar screen long enough to make sure there was not much competition for your Council seats and the position of Mayor.

Now, six weeks before the city election, this is sprung on us, as of a September 24 Council meeting, and done under the consent agenda.

Enough about the deceit and the politics of it all. To the issue at hand:

I take issue with several points in your letter to the Citizens.

1) Opening paragraph. This mess was given to you? You were elected, in part, because of this mess.

2) At what interest rates have you calculated the repayment rate? Interest rates are currently quite low, and will likely remain low during the economic downturn we are experiencing.

3) In most bond issues, we have been careful to highlight that $100,000 SEV is essentially a house value of $200,000, whenever we try to "sell" a bond issue. Those without this subtle bit of knowledge will expect that their taxes will be twice as high. This is an uncharacteristic "sales job" trying to justify this proposal.

4) No mention is made of the high-powered legal guns that the City was looking to hire roughly two years ago. Did we not hire any of those high-profile firms? What did they tell us?

5) The "75 net usable acres" will actually mean the effective transfer of probably 90 to 95 acres, once the wetlands and roadway acreage is conveyed. The acreage that we would have had for park use drops by the same 90 or 95 acres, maybe more.

6) In the "optional" 20 usable acres, the same terms apply. There are wetlands and a significant mature dense stand of hardwoods in this area, which I do not believe could be cut down for development under our ordinances. This would increase the acreage conveyed significantly, perhaps to 30 acres.

7) The letter states that excess proceeds from any insurance settlement, which elsewhere is considered questionable, would be placed into a "Park Development Fund." There is nothing to state that this will be for replacement acreage, and therefore could just be used to squeeze more bathrooms and ball fields onto our very limited acreage. It would be far from adequate to purchase any significant acreage in Novi, even if the acreage were available, and it is not. What land is left is suitable for commercial or residential, and would have none of the natural features present in the rolling meadow or hardwoods you plan to sacrifice. Also, Council's interest in acquiring or developing new land has been minimal. We have seen the Wetlands Mitigation Site at Nine-Mile and Haggerty closed to the public, without Parks and Recreation's opinion even being solicited. Parks and Recreation and the Planning Commission have also proposed the low- cost purchase of the Southwestern Core Reserve using special Michigan DNR grant funds available this Fall only, only to have you turn a deaf ear to even applying for a grant. Why would we believe that there is any interest in acquiring replacement land?

We have seen talk that North Novi Park is a 500- to 550- acre park, but Parks and Recreation considers only 441 acres as Parks and Recreation acreage. The difference is likely in storm water retention and land dedicated for other uses such as DPW, wetland mitigation, or similar uses. More importantly, there are only about 135 acres of land that are actually suitable and conveniently accessible for recreational use, meaning dry enough to use for either active or passive functions. The remaining open, accessible area will be limited to the existing tree farm site, about 30 acres north of 12-1/2 Mile Road. After we construct a buffer to existing single- family and the new multi-family residential, put in a parking lot and service buildings, we will have, net, maybe, 15 or 20 acres of dry land for so-called recreational purposes accessible to the public. And the sight of high-density residential will mar even this acreage. So the net effect of this proposal is to take our high-quality parkland from 135 acres to, generously, 20 acres.

The land proposed for the settlement is not 100% pristine, having served as farmland and orchard, but still is the last available rolling meadow. We can't replace it. To quote the lyrics of Joni Mitchell - "Don't it always see to go - that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone. Take paradise, and put up a parking lot." Or in this case, dense multi-family residential with these parking lots.

The sacrifice of today, our tax dollars (maybe), will be well worth the expense of having this unique, beautiful site and park for us, for our children, and their children, and their children, and their children ... forever. We must also consider that the quality of parks, tied directly to the quality of life, has a direct impact upon property values. Study after study shows this. A city with only ball fields and soccer fields for recreation is not acceptable, and property values could be expected to decrease accordingly, likely beyond the amount that may be paid in additional taxes.

Consider what you tell your children, or your grandchildren, when you drive down Twelve-Mile Road between Novi and West Park Drive, which perhaps should be renamed Sandstone Drive if you proceed with this plan. You have two choices:

"See that beautiful park? I helped to create it for the people of Novi when I was on City Council. It will be there for generations to come to enjoy the natural beauty and sanctuary of the area, and also protect wildlife and the environment. That is my legacy, and my gift to Novi." Or, "See that apartment / condominium complex? When I was on Council, I decided to save the taxpayers some cash and sold off a whole bunch of parkland to a nasty, self-serving developer. But it wasn't my fault. ! wanted to be a good politician and keep our taxes low. Money is all- important to the people of Novi, some of the wealthiest in Oakland County, of Michigan, even the United States, but they are the people who elect me. Now, let's go to the mall for some recreation."

Which do you prefer? When your children talk to your grandchildren about you and the time you served on Council, which story will be told? The first one, where you are the hero? Or the second one, where you are the goat? What will your family legacy be?

I oppose the proposed settlement.

LuAnne Kozma, 23837 West LeBost, read the following letter into the record.

As your appointee to the parks and recreation commission, you've asked me and the other commissioners to plan for our community's parks and recreational needs. And to make thoughtful recommendations to you, so that you can make the best possible decisions regarding our parks. We take on this volunteer role seriously. This public heating was announced on very short notice. The first I heard of this proposal to give away parkland was Tuesday when I read about it in the Detroit Free Press. The Commission could not schedule our own meeting before this one. So we are here tonight as individuals to do what you've asked us to do, to help you, and our fellow citizens, better understand the choices before us.

This past year the Commission has been drafting a new Community Recreation Plan, a necessary step in order to compete for state DNR park grants. And also a useful plan for us to have regardless. In it are an inventory and calculations of how much park and recreational resources we have, what we still need now, and what we project we will need based on population growth. Before we purchased good park land with the park bond m the early '90s, we had a serious lack of parks. The park bond remedied a few things. Now in Novi we have just 6 parks that are considered "community parks"--parks that serve a greater population than one neighborhood, meet recreation needs or preserve unique landscapes and open spaces. North Novi Park is the only park for city-wide, passive recreation that preserves unique landscapes. Everything else is active recreationóball fields, and the like. We have about the right amount of acreage right now if we build out to 72,000 people. If we grow bigger, we will need more.

In terms of neighborhood parks, we currently have 4 very small parks--totaling just 18 acres--which is a 30-acre deficit citywide, and a projected 54-acre deficit at capacity population of 72,000. In yesterday's Detroit News, our city planner, Greg Capote is quoted as saying that by the end of this year, since the raw of growth is higher than projected, we will have 53,424 people. That's 6,038 more people who have moved into the city since the 2000 census was taken! And we haven't added any new neighborhood parks.

In the Community Recreation Plan we recommend as one of the highest priorities, that the city needs to purchase more parkland.

The 75 acre-area of North Novi Park, which is proposed to be given to Sandstone, encompasses the entire southern border and encroaches into the very heart of the park. The additional 20 acres even more so. When I first read this, I figured they were simply some frontage along Twelve Mile Road. But the amount of land we're talking about is substantial. It's nearly 22 % of the park. Just 75 acres is slightly bigger than any of our other parks. To allow a development into the heart of this prime parkland destroys the integrity of the entire park. Right now, when you walk into North Novi Park, you are surrounded by nature, without views of development. Should this come to pass, that

would no longer be the case. This plan would compromise our ability to use what's remaining as a passive use, nature park. There wouldn't be enough "usable land" to do what we want to do with it. A major portion of the bike and trail system 'already in place would be deleted. Scaling off the entire southern boundary doesn't allow for adequate public access.

We bought North Novi Park over a long period of time with our tax dollars. It wasn't free. Giving this park away is not a "tax free" alternative.

A few years ago, Novi's citizens spoke loudly about keeping North Novi Park as a park. More than 7,000 people voted "yes" to prevent a golf course from being built there, and I'm sure most of them would say, they never would have expected that the city could sell it off, much less give, or "convey" the park to a developer, who would profit immeasurably by developing or selling it. And after they spoke loudly, citizens--and council--wanted more accountability for park planning so, you decided to broadcast the parks and recreation commission meetings live on cable television. Keep decisions on parks on the up and up, out in front of the public.

Our parks and recreation programs have been playing "catch up" to Novi's tremendous population growth and changing demographics. We've now bought and fought for the basis of a park system that we've not adequately been able to develop in time to keep up with what we need. Parks are an economic necessity for a viable community, not a luxury. They are a basic city service. As basic as roads and city offices and police protection. As important as good neighborhoods and good schools.

To voluntarily lose the most valuable park asset we have puts our community at a loss. We will have given up a unique resource that we cannot replace. No other land in Novi is quite like North Novi Park. It's the best land we have. We know this, and the developer knows this. The reality in Novi is, buying new parkland is almost an impossibility. There's not much land left, and what is, is farmland, not prime parkland, and it's more and more expensive as the years go on. We face the same escalating expense with buying future parkland, as we face paying off the lawsuit.

The estimate you've given us as the alternative won't in time be accurate. We can build the tax base, and ease the tax burden of the future. As all these new residents and businesses move here, they become part of the tax base paying off the lawsuit. So it's not going to cost the owner of a house with an SEV of $100,000, $237 a year because we are growing ourselves right out of this problem. We owe it to people to point out this very important fact.

Parks are established with a promise made to people, that they are held in trust, that they are protected in perpetuity. As park owners, we citizens of Novi are stewards of our parkland. Parks are not viewed as pieces of property that can be traded and sold. We put our trust in our representatives to uphold our responsibility to be good protectors of our parklands. Our citizens expect that our parks not be unsafe, or out of date, or dirty, or sold. That's the promise. That's the expectation. Mayor Clark, you've said that parks are important to our community and that in particular you were in favor of saving North Novi Park, and I 'know some of you on council have said the same. This is your chance to live up to that responsibility.

Consider, too, how the DNR would view any of Novi's applications for grant funding of park acquisition and development. If we are seen widely, and it will be well known, as a community that doesn't value its park system, that we have a proven record of giving away public park land, that we levied park bonds and then we give away our best, pristine park, why would the state want to give our community any dollars?

Please do the right thing for our community and look toward the long term, the very long term. Choosing to sacrifice our parkland now, is a short-term solution. This solution must be long lasting, and not get us in "a mess" 5, 10, 30 years from now.

Just imagine Novi 30 years from now. There are even more houses and more malls, and more roads, more schools, a bigger expo center, more parks, and more residential and corporate taxpayers, political careers have come and gone, and the word "Sandstone" is just a foggy memory, and the 72,000 citizens of Novi say gratefully, thank goodness we made the right decision back at the turn of the century, and we kept this beautiful park of ours for all to enjoy, for all time. Thank you.

Kim Capello, 24406 Nantucket, didnít envy the Council trying to settle the lawsuit and applauded Councils work and efforts to settle the lawsuit without digging into the taxpayer pockets. However, he was concerned about how quickly this was brought before the public. He felt the letter he received was rather self-serving and did not set forth the full facts of the settlement of the lawsuit. Also, the public hearing was scheduled for Monday, which gave the residents two days to come before Council. Fortunately, members of Parks and Recreation got up and spoke before some of the other members of the public who were much more well informed of the history of the parklands and the effect of the settlement of the parklands. The residents need the opportunity to ask questions and have them answered and he agreed that a public hearing was not a place to do that. Possibly the residents need a different forum to have some of their questions answered so they could make an informed decision on whether or not this settlement is fair and reasonable. Parks and Recreation covered some of the issues he had. The letter said net usable acreage and most residents did not know what net usable acreage was. The opening statement led residents to believe that we would have approximately 475 acres of usable parkland left. That is not the case there might be somewhere between 300 and 375 acres. He asked if net usable meant that we take out the wetlands, protected woodlands, woodlands and right-of-ways? If so, our 75 acres could easily get up to 90, 100 or 110 acres, which would leave less parkland available. He didnít feel he had enough information to make an informed decision. However, before he gave up parklands he wanted to find out exactly what the terms of settlement are, what net usable meant, and what the topography of the acreage is. He believed that most of the acreage being given up was dry upland acreage. Mr. Capello asked who made the determination that the use of the property was going to be multi-family residential. We have higher uses, higher zoning districts in the City that would create a higher land value than multi family residential. He thought they had seen the Office/Service District now getting $6.50 to $7.00 a square foot. That is probably the highest land use except for the mall areas in the City of Novi and far exceeded what multi family residential would be worth. If it made sense to give up part of the parklands to prevent the City from digging into the taxpayers pockets perhaps there was a way to negotiate with the developer to still work some type of a partnership with them. Example, anyone that went to Napier Park understood that part of their parking lots were still not paved and are not adequate to serve the needs of the people that come for soccer, etc. If it was a high tech or industrial use, we could review their site plans and layout their property sufficiently that their parking lots would back up to the parkland we could have a joint use of some of the paved parking. They donít use their parking lots in the evenings or Saturdays. We could also intertwine the paths for walking, riding bikes, etc. as park of the parklands and expand what was left of the parklands if that were the case. To give up the parklands puts the entire brunt of the settlement on the residents of this City. If it were a tax situation, both residents and the business community would be participating. He asked if they had looked at any type of partial payment in cash by way of an increase in taxes to be shared between the residents and the business community and perhaps a donation of our parklands. He asked if any mention was made about the 3-4 acres that we have up on Walled Lake as it was probably a valuable piece of property. The last discussion he had heard on that property was that the City was going to put up some type of a hotel restaurant or commercial establishment. Perhaps it made more sense if we are going to give up some property instead of increasing taxes looking at that property might make more sense with some restricted uses on it. Lastly, if Council is going to enter into a settlement give the residents an opportunity to have question answered and more of an opportunity to investigate whatís going on and more detail regarding what the settlement is as opposed to the letter. He agreed with Mr. Shaw that it was a very self-serving letter.

Michael Breckenridge, 24152 Brentwood Court, said what had not been brought up at all was the fact that we do have a lawsuit in the process and there the judge that presided over the trial was a member of the law firm that represented Sandstone prior to his becoming judge. He asked if there had been anything brought up as far as collusion between that judge and the law firm? Otherwise, this should go to the Attorney General for investigation. This judge rendered a decision of $39 million against this City in favor of a law firm he used to be a member of. He asked how the Council could have the audacity to allow a developer to dictate how or when a road would be opened. The City should have the right to determine when that road is safe enough to be used. This developer might have paid for the road but did he provide for the signage or the traffic signals; he did not. He felt this was blackmail and the city should appeal as long as necessary. He felt they should continue to appeal this no matter what the cost; a million dollars for defense but not a penny for blackmail. He said a bond issue was approved for 9 Mile and Taft Road five years ago, $100,000, and it has never been put into place. He asked if he should sue because it had not been done yet. No, it takes a little common sense. This developer doesnít have common sense, he is greedy and not concerned about the citizens of Novi and his developments should be scrutinized very closely. Mr. Breckenridge is against giving away even one acre of parkland.

James Korte, 2026 Austin, noted when everything is against you itís time to bite the bullet. Weíre at $68 million plus $20,000 per day and $9.5 million is not a lot when you are looking at $65 million. Mr. Korte didnít think 75 acres so terrible. Now we have to clean up arsenic whether we keep the property or not and whatever that charge is it is arbitrary. Why did the old boy network buy property with arsenic? We, as a City, paid $2,000 for EPA testing and standards on less than an acre in visual site of Walled Lake. The problem with this whole situation was the former Council and attorneys that gave us very bad situations. We should learn from this situation and not repeat it. Get the EPA testing that wasnít done on this property. Itís time to get over and build a better Novi.

 

Becky Staab 48117 Cherry Hill Road, read a letter into the record for Charles Staab.

As chairperson of the Novi Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Commission. I am very upset in the way we were notified of the possible terms of the above litigation settlement and the public hearing on Monday, October 1, 2001 (Tuesday, September 25, 2001, Detroit Free Press). As your commission responsible for overseeing park lands, etc., we should have been extended the courtesy of a phone call and/or e-mail advising of these actions so we could be prepared to handle the questions and queries of the citizens, etc. Instead we found out about the public heating and proposed terms to settle the litigation by reading the newspaper on September 25.

The next 'thorn' as I see it, is that our commission asked during our joint meeting (City Council & Parks, Recreation and Forestry) on May 10, 2001 if this land would be offered up for settlement of this litigation. We were told at that meeting that city council was not considering this land being reserved for use in this settlement. Thus, in less than five months you have reversed your position on this issue. Again, with no consultation and/or communication with your Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Commission. The least we should have been advised of is that you were in negotiations and could not comment.

The intended 75 acres to be conveyed to Sandstone will impact the overall integrity of the park in what manner? We, as a commission, have reviewed many options for the use of this land and have solicited citizen input. Now, we will need to re-solicit ideas as to usage and resources we will have available. Many dedicated people have expended a lot of valuable time and effort.

The above reflects my concerns over communication with the commission. My next set of concerns revolves around the proposed settlement of the litigation.

What are the recommendations of the legal counsel hired specifically to carry the case through the Michigan Court of Appeals? I would assume their recommendation is to settle now, hut why has it taken until October 2001 to realize we are not in a favorable position. This is especially true in that the "interest clock" has been ticking since day one.

I can't believe the issue as to what insurance will respond and to what amount has not been finalized over the past two + years since the original judgment. If this settlement is accepted as presented, it is my understanding we still will not know until some date in the future how or to what amount the insurance will cover. The changing of insurance carriers since the original lawsuit complicates matters. I hope that the amount saved in premium and the more coverage afforded was worth this entanglement.

How could we have missed the arsenic in this land when we completed our investigation/sampling when we originally purchased the land? Now we have to pay $750K to have the land cleaned up prior to conveying the property to Sandstone. Who completed the testing for us when we purchased and what Errors and Omission coverage and/or Professional Liability coverage do they have in place to cover this error?

I could go on but the bottom-line is that the citizens I have discussed this possible solution with feel this is probably the best route to go to resolve this open legal problem. People want to resolve the issue and move on, they do not want to have to pay more taxes to solve the problem.

We as a commission look forward to being an integral part of the planning and developing of the North Novi parcel as we move forward.

Brian Smith, 42434 Park Ridge, went to the park today and agreed with Mr. Shaw about the usable parkland after we give 75 acres away. He thought the part that was being given away was probably a quarter to a third of the single track bike trail and it is the best area to develop new trails in. He felt this should be an issue for a city vote. We have a choice of basic services only City or we could have a City with all the basic services plus quality of life services. We would have to pay for it but that is a decision that should be made by citizens. He thought this was a cash flow problem and didnít think parkland should be given away. Mr. Smith asked what happens if the arsenic problem canít be cleaned up do we have to give more land to the developers? Is the $750,000 enough to clean up the arsenic and do we know the extent of that problem. He wanted to preserve the park, itís worth the extra money and he hoped the citizens of Novi felt that way and he would like to see it put to a vote.

Dan Witcher, 48265 9 Mile, felt this was a world wide problem, just saying sacrifice our parklands instead of having to pay taxes that could be replaced later. At the rate we are going now with population, park depletion, and the earth, according to studies, would be inhabitable. This is our kids kids and asked if Council wanted to contribute to the demise of the earth or come together as one to conserve this world. We can replace the money so we should pay it but we cannot replace the world after it has been depleted.

Bob Wilkins, 23803 Ripple Creek, felt parkland was irreplaceable. He travels all over the country and those communities that are the most prosperous and living are those who have paid attention to their parkland and have preserved it and it is in place. It is unfortunate that cash versus our land and it is easy to give away. It is hard to tax people. Many residents are living on fixed incomes and any additional taxes would come from what they have to live on such as food, clothing, and essentials. We are also going to be faced with the library bond issue. Mr. Wilkins felt the situation was being hurried and without proper public input. The Council would be judged on what they did and that it was done in an orderly, timely fashion and not in a rushed decision. Land is irreplaceable and Novi would be a park less community.

Keith Clark, 225 Eubank, would rather see the entire parkland sold to someone else then give it to the developer. He has already sued us once for $68 million. Sell it all, pay off everything else and maybe our taxes would go down.

Ray Garcia, 28250 Dixon Road, commented he would be directly affected by this deal. He agreed with Mr. Shaw that that Council would not get away with just giving away 70 or 90 acres. It will go to 110 plus acres because of the beautiful wetlands and hard wood areas on the property. Sandstone has a history of doing this; this is not the first time. When they first made their proposition they were supposed to have built and repaired Meadowbrook Road so they would have it as an entrance to their subdivision. Instead they made it on Novi Road. They were supposed to build 900 homes in the first subdivision and claimed they would leave the wetland and woodlands natural. Within 2 or 3 years they blackmailed the city into giving them another 200-400 homes because of wetlands. It would happen again with this parkland if it was given to them.

Bujak Stanislow, 28075 Dixon, asked if anyone had gone through the park? It is a very precious piece of land. He asked how it happened that the City had to give them $90 million and why did the City get in this position? Why didnít Council give them the OK to go through the road?

Dorothy Ducheneau, 1191South Lake Drive, said she voted to spend money to buy the park the first time and voted to leave it as a park not a golf course and if she had to pay $237 a year to keep it as a park, she would pay that too. Then she would expect that the City put its "lock box" on it so that we donít keep coming up with this every time there is a problem or someone wants to get some land. He had problems dealing with this developer, once burned, twice burned, and now we are going back for a third try? Give the developer the money and let him get out of here.

Michael Donovan, 42837 Ledgeview Dr., Vista Hills condo association board member, noted their concern with the change in the retail to the north of where they live. They were not excited to find out that what was originally going to be a modest retail establishment at 13 Mile and Novi Roads was just increased by 70%. Many residents have stated they would leave if this 170,000 sq. ft. establishment was built. The park is a valuable resource and he asked if the land they were giving away was really worth $12-$15 million. That was what it priced out at on the option. He asked if it could be replaced. If we canít replace it, we are giving away more than just a little more in taxes. We are giving away our destiny and our heritage. This is their biggest piece of parkland and you are giving away the best piece of it. Itís the only major park and he asked if there wasnít something else we could do. He didnít want to pay more taxes but if that is the answer then thatís the price we pay for bad decisions in the past. We donít need to mortgage our future to get out from under this.

Gordon Fuller, 47570 Aberdeen Dr., candidate for City Council, commented he moved to Novi in 1999, and didnít have the history behind this or the emotions that others have. He understood their passion and the difficulty they have at the thought of paying for this property twice. He thought Council had the obligation to put this behind us but his issue with Councilís approach though was that he didnít understand the numbers. Mr. Helwig tossed out a number of $200,000 an acre and that would come out to about $20 million. Rough calculation of the net present value of what the developer might expect to gain in future income off of his commercial properties would be about $30 million, which he thought was a very generous total amount. He asked Council for some real numbers to be put in front of the community because these donít add up. Mr. Fuller felt this should be put to a vote. People should have the opportunity to decide if they would like to buy this land a second time or accept the Councilís recommendation.

Joe Sparks, 44736 Huntington Dr., was thinking of the long term and paying additional taxes might not be good but after hearing everyone the bottom line was pay more taxes or lose the parkland. He asked whatís worse for the long term for Novi? He felt losing the parkland would be the worse thing to happen and asked Council to consider long and hard what was said tonight and to think about the passion of the comments and reconsider.

Paul Sherbeck, 24547 Fairway Hills, felt the Sandstone people were patently wrong. He felt that freedom loving Americanís should reject any project by this company. He said denial by the Council of culpability is beyond comprehension and logic. Whether using the $20 or $33 million figure what is currently now is $70 million since 1999 anyone sitting on Council for even one day has the $20,000 attached permanently on their name. He asked what had changed since 1999 that caused Council to settle now? Why did you wait? He felt it began with the Novi Expo tax abatement, rezoning that would benefit land speculators, passage of fire, police or road bonds that are a major benefit to the Expo Center and real estate developers and brokers. Is it because we need to continue the Ice Arena, Senior Housing and schools. He felt sorry for the library because Council made them wait until last. Mr. Sherbeck noted the promise of no more road bonds for 5 years. There are techniques for capturing future increases. We have been told there are no shell games going on but that is what he would call it. We have a slush fund for local participation of favorite businesses so that certain favorite businesses can reap lots of money at the State level via the EDC. At last weeks meeting several Council members expressed concerns that proposed rezoning this overlay would result in administrative decisions. We were told that was not going to be the case. He asked if it wasnít an administrative decision that got us into this situation in the first place.

Angie Bruder, 195 Pleasant Cove, stated many questions have been asked and it bother her that there is no mechanism for hearing the answers. She was against giving the parkland and felt giving it to Sandstone would cause more problems. She asked if there would be another meeting where these questions and answers would be addressed?

Mayor Clark responded they would try to answer as many questions as possible this evening. There will be another meeting on October 15th as with every meeting there are 3 Audience Participations. If there is a need to get out additional information it will go out before the 15th.

Ms. Bruder said then we can be assured that this deal is not going to be done until there is an opportunity for more public input. Mayor Clark said no action would be taken tonight.

Debra Southwick, 41344 Beacon Road, commented she uses the park a lot and understands what we will be losing if the parkland is given up. She endorsed the comments of Mr. Shaw and Ms. Kozma. She really hoped there were other alternatives. She wanted to see a near verbatim response, by someone in administration, published in the paper to all the questions asked. She asked Council to address the fact that according to the Free Press we are growing and growing and according to our own City development manager we have all these malls, homes, etc. being built so surely our tax base would be increased tremendously. She realized that as the population grew expenses grew but felt there should be a correlation between getting more and more people with $3.2 million homes in this City and she didnít believe there wasnít additional tax money coming in that could be put towards this problem. She asked for an explanation. She was also concerned about the effects, even if this land is given away, on the remaining parkland. She was concerned about the effect of major developments on Shawood and Walled Lake. If we have all these homes where are all the pollutants, water run off, etc. going to go that would be captured and filtered by the wetlands that are there? Is there an environmental impact statement that would be done on what this development would do to the remaining parkland? What other option were explored? Were there any other options given such as tax abatements or additional zoning changes on property they currently have. Why was there no consultation with Parks and Recreation at all? She asked about insurance and why we would keep $4.5 million of the insurance? Why not let the insurance money go to Sandstone and keep our parks. How is the insurance money getting divided and why donít we know what we are getting? She asked if everyoneís comments would make a difference or had Council already decided? What is the likelihood that we could win on Appeal? If we still owe $5.5 million after the insurance is paid where are we going to get the money. She agreed with LuAnne Kozmaís point that the DNR would look harshly upon us if we ever want money to develop any sort of parkland or recreational facilities again if we give away this property we own now. We need a lot more answers to these questions.

Linda Rayson, 24740 Taft, President of Michigan Mountain Bike Association, which is the group that helped put in the trails and put in hundreds of volunteer hours every year now for 3 or 4 years. It is completely irreplaceable and she was opposed to any deal that would swap that land to save taxpayers some money. She thought the taxpayers had spoken when the golf course was proposed and for the Council to say they want to swap that land goes against everything these voters want. Is this a done deal, if it is swapped, do we have any say over the configuration of what parcel is given? If we do there might be ways to lessen the impact on the existing woodlands. Secondly, if we do have to do this is there anyway to work with the developer to get additional concessions for signage, access, and other things that had never been done to the parkland? Ms. Rayson was adamantly opposed.

Dick Faulkner, 25890 Clark, originally thought it was a good idea to settle this. Now he felt this should be placed on the ballot and possibly make it a two part ballot. One to find out if they want to go along with Councilís idea in the public notice or figure out how much it would cost us and place that on the ballot. If it passes, take that proposal to a bank or whatever it takes borrow the money, pay these people off and let the taxpayers pay off the debt.

Chuck Tindall, 2453 Shawood, felt the Council did the right thing holding a public hearing and appreciated what he had heard. He thought the property was bought with a bond proposal in 1993 and it said specifically that this bond was for the use of purchase and development of property for recreational purposes only. Mr. Tindall asked if this violated that bond proposal. He was concerned this would set a bad example. The papers have listed Novi several times because of this litigation in a bad light and he thought if we knuckle under and give in it would set a precedent. Everyone is saying we have already lost. Isnít it up on appeal? Donít we have some hope here? Either we are giving up land or money or it is just a lose-lose situation. He felt an additional $19 a month in extra taxes would not be bad and to keep the land he would pay it. But if we lose the land it is gone, lost forever.

Michael Meyer, 41088 Malott, felt the City should appeal the judgement. He felt there were people in the City who are aware of the history behind this. Mainly, that this developer was promised an access road, itís just that we built an access road and it wasnít the one the developer wanted. He thought we needed to get away from the name calling and disparaging remarks and regarding the developer or anyone else involved in previous decisions and focus on the fact. He believed the appeal could be won.

Ed Davis, 24015 Glen Ridge Ct., 32 year resident, was troubled with the procedure that was followed. He found this letter in his mail just last Thursday and given more notice there are dozens of people who would have been here. He thought it was unfortunate that the negative fall out of this issue could possibly impact the library millage and he hoped it did not happen.

Bob Schmid, 28105 Summit, said he felt awkward standing on this side of the Council table after 18 years service to the community but he wanted to give a different perspective. He was on Council when the lawsuit was filed, read everything and was dismayed by the judgment. He was one of three Council members who interviewed appellate law firms as the award was felt to be grossly in error as a matter of law and Plunkett Cooney was selected. The appellate attorney agreed at that time. The Circuit Court judge, Mr. Howard, was a former partner of the attorney for Sandstone and the judge refused to excuse himself and the case was heard Judge Howard and not by a jury. Most people thought he should have removed himself from the bench. Mr. Schmid commented that prior to his leaving Council, appellate attorneys felt confident in winning the appeal and asked what had changed?

Mr. Schmid spoke about rezoning from R1-A to a PUD on Novi Road and that was a windfall. An SAD was required to build a ring road and Sandstone would be repaid through the homeowners. There was no agreement for a time limit to open the road. In 1993, they came back with a plan for neo-traditional housing including commercial and multiple. He compared this to row housing from the 1940ís and felt it was a bad plan but it was a split vote and the project was pursued. They had a heart service road leading directly to their site and better access to their site than others prior to or since that time. The development failed because the housing concept was flawed with small houses and row houses and it would not sell in Novi. They couldnít get builders to build them and the principals were under funded and not experienced in large projects. The judge ruled against the city and again ruled for 12% interest and the appellate attorneys felt confident the case could be won at that time.

Mr. Schmid thought Sandstone must also be scared if they are willing to settle for this property and insurance money. The City could prevail if the judge ignored the law and Mr. Schmid felt that he did and he thought that typically the judgment and interest would be thrown out when a lower court judge had erred. Inspite of a bad decision by a judge, settlement cannot be ruled out.

Council recessed at 9:45 p.m.

Council reconvened at 10:07 p.m.

Lareta Roder, was dismayed to learn of the proposal to give Sandstone the parkland that was so valuable to our children and grandchildren. Upon reflection however, she felt this needed to be put behind us. This isnít just a tax increase but would decrease valuable city services for senior citizens, library, police, fire and parks and recreation. She felt it was better to settle now then to take a chance on the appeal when the odds didnít look good and the courts favor business. Ms. Roder thought if this went on it would affect the quality of life for everyone in many different ways.

Sarah Gray, 133 Maudlin, stated she was not thrilled with the proposed settlement but Council was elected to make the tough decisions and she knew the decision wasnít made lightly. The only fair way to deal with this is an election or referendum. She would rather give up 75 acres of parkland at 12 Mile than anything farther north. Questions, she heard were how can this land be used, what kind of controls could be placed on the property, and would there be more lawsuits? Ms. Gray stated she trusted this Council to do the right thing for the City. She felt there should be an open letter to the residents stating what our attorneys suggested. Council didnít have to hold a public hearing and could have made the decision and let everyone know after the fact and she appreciated that. She is tired of the judgment hanging over her head as this could affect selling it in the future.

Diane Clark, 45776 Irvine Dr., applauded Council for holding this meeting. If she retained an attorney to work on a problem it would be her attorneyís responsibility to inform her as to what the possibilities are. Regardless of what happened several years ago, we lost round one, we are in appellate court and donít know the outcome. While listening to the citizens tonight she thought it was a decision they should make and it should be on the ballot. Then if thereís a large settlement everyone has agreed to pay. She applauded Council for saying to everyone that this was what could be done to offset a $100,000,000 plus judgement but felt that the people should speak at the polls.

Butch Wingfield, 24411 Nantucket, resident and Parks and Recreation Commissioner, thanked Council for the public hearing and felt they were listening and hoped this wasnít a formality. In his opinion, as a Parks and Recreation Commissioner, he felt they should have had a heads up on this issue going into this. North Novi Park is a gem and we are all proud of it but it has been a low priority. He thought it was disgusting that the park was bought nine years ago for $9 million to "develop and make as a recreation area" and we havenít done anything to it in 9 years. Something should have been done with that park; we owe it to the community to do that. He originally thought Council was behind this park and it wouldnít be compromised and now look where we are. Council has to make a decision but he had to go on record as supporting not turning this over in this lawsuit litigation. However, we need to put the lawsuit behind us, and if this is an option that we have then so be it. He didnít agree with it but he would respect Councilís decision. If the decision is to do that then letís make a commitment to do something with whatís left.

Jim Utley, 25614 Gina Ct., was disappointed that Sandstone, the Vistas and PUDís were ever approved. It is ironic that this fell under Ed Kriewallís administration and he was the leader who went to bat for the City of Novi to get that land at a very reduced price. This should probably be a ballot issue. He asked why the appellate court hasnít ruled on this case? He also wanted to know where the insurance company had the grounds to back out of this deal? If Novi was properly insured by this insurance company why arenít they paying what they owe us? There has to be a reason. Mr. Utley commented he was somewhat for the proposal because he hated taxes. He is paying a fortune in taxes and is being taxed right out of the City as are a lot of other people. He didnít think he was getting what he should out of his tax dollar. He travels to a lot of other States and didnít see the taxes in other states like he saw here. It was not fine with him to raise taxes and felt most would be appalled at paying extra taxes. He would vote for this proposal if it were on the ballot because he did not want to pay more taxes. He didnít think that the $9.5 million should be put back in the park issue. He thought it should be spent on roads to handle all the congestion on 12 Mile. He commented there was a significant amount of parkland left and next to paying a fortune in taxes, we should bite the bullet.

John Harvey, 1321 West Lake Dr., asked if $237 annually per SEV of $100,000 was truly SEV of $100,000 or was it actual value of the home? He asked what the total acreage was on the property or the percentage? Mayor Clark said it was about 15% and was the most south on Twelve Mile Road. He first read the letter and was adamantly against increasing taxes because his neighborhood is trying to get their roads paved and trying to get city water. This money would have to come out of their own pockets and to add this burden is too much to swallow. In the event Council did go forward with this proposal he wanted a written guarantee from Council that this land would never be held up for ransom again forever and ever. He wasnít convinced that the land wouldnít be developed sometime in the future. Mr. Harvey suggested giving the developer $750,000 extra to clean up the arsenic.

Toni Nagy, 22647 Cranbrooke, thought most residents made a good point. She referred to the 1999 Fountain Walk issue and how Mr. Helwig had negotiated it. At that time she said we have priorities, the lawsuit was going to cost us and interest was accruing. We are accruing $20,000 in interest! She said she loved trees and parks but we donít offer city services. Our parklands are terrible and they are not up to par in any other City she had gone to. This should be looked at in terms of what it would do for the residents. Most residents probably donít want to pay the tax dollars to support this lawsuit. Ms. Nagy thought Council should do the best they can with what they have to work with. The most important thing in this City is a lot of taxes are paid and they do not have City services that warrant what they pay. Ms. Nagy urged Council to cut their losses now.

Mayor Clark stated this is not a done deal. He prides himself on having open, responsive and inclusive meetings. This Council puts it all out for everyone to see. Members of Council do not take any action at the Council table with a lighthearted fashion because it affects every citizen in this community and they are well aware of it and they take that obligation extremely seriously. He addressed the interest question and stated that in the courts of law judgment runs at 12% per annum.

Mayor Clark said he has practiced law for 33 years and explained all the courts he has been through. He noted that once in the appellate process, there are no guarantees and we have to deal with the hand that we were dealt.

Regardless of the new homes and businesses coming into Novi we are not growing tax revenue at the rate of $20,000 per day. No city in America is.

As a practicing attorney and proud member of the legal profession he guaranteed that he was not a fan of Judge Barry Howard. However, Judge Howard is also a member of an honorable profession. The Canons of Ethics say that you canít have a member of your former firm or his case before you after you leave the firm for at least 2 years. Judge Howard complied with the Cannons of Ethics. It is his judgement call to make as to whether he removes himself from the case.

We have heard that this is the best piece of parkland in the City but prior Councilís wouldnít have purchased it if they knew it was laced with arsenic. We have legal, moral and ethical obligation as the owner of that land to clean it up once we know it is contaminated. He asked Mr. Helwig to describe what it would take to remove the contaminants from that 75 acres.

Mr. Helwig said 62,000 cubic yards of soil must be removed, going down 1 foot and in the 75 acre portion 23 acres are affected, 37, 000 cubic yards. In the 20 acres, 15 acres are involved for a total of 25,000 cubic yards. All the vegetation would be removed.

Mayor Clark said we know we have a contaminated site and we must clean up it up. He asked how we could remove the site, clean it up, take the soil out and leave the vegetation and trees. He said he has grandchildren and even if it were cleaned up he wouldnít take them there, as he would err on the side of safety.

Some residents said give the man his money. The City doesnít have $34 million or any other amount. He said if we won on appeal there would be no guarantees that we would win on a second trial. Then it would cost even more. People tonight mentioned mentioned public services; if we were forced to get judgment bonds, if we could get them, it would affect the credit rating of the City and our ability to borrow funds for years to come. Novi would not be competitive or the choice location in Oakland County. If the same amount of house could be bought in Northville Twp. or Farmington Hills with less tax people would not buy in Novi.

Residents asked why wait to settle until now. Negotiations have been going on for months and they are not done in public. This Council looked at every conceivable option to avoid using parkland. If there was any way to avoid the decision Council made they would have done it.

Regarding the question raised about the insurance. If we have it, why donít they pay it? There is a continuing dispute with the insurance carriers that based on the ruling made in the circuit court that if certain of those allegations are upheld that the policy of insurance applicable that the City has provide exceptions. If certain allegations in the lawsuit are true we have no coverage. They are also taking a risk so they have to weigh the possibility of trying to resolve this matter with the City or both sides take a risk and eventually down the road, there may be no insurance. Sandstone knows that as well and they are taking a risk. If we prevail, they would not get any additional acres, they would get the first $9.5 million and beyond that there would be a split of 50 cents on the dollar.

Council made a commitment with regard to the Ice Arena and cell phone providers wanted to put a facility on the site of the ice arena. Mayor Clark was adamant at that time and said if that happens that money goes to defray the debt of the ice arena. We have received $100,000 to help defray the debt to date. If Council says if this matter is resolved and if down the road there is additional insurance money that comes to the City it will go to the park fund that is exactly where it will go. He said no one on Council is happy with the situation they are in or the proposal being presented and if there is opportunity to have additional funds in the future and to purchase other lands in the City they would do so. Any land purchases would have a full environmental assessment.

Regarding the question about the land having been purchased with bonds and it was. If this proposal passed this City would have to redeem a portion of those bonds equal to the percentage that the 75 acres represents to the total parkland. That would be done with another bonding of about $2 million because that would represent the 75 acres. This would be necessary because the first bonds were tax exempt. It would balance so there would be no increase to the debt load to the City.

It was stated that we havenít done anything or completed all of the amenities with the parks we have not and Mayor Clark agreed and commented they have been working very hard to correct that situation. The reason is because this City doesnít have an extra dollar. Council had prided themselves in keeping the tax base in the City as low as possible. The community pays as it goes and tries to keep out of debt whenever possible.

Mr. Helwig hoped he could provide a sense for the community of this negotiating process and whatís been at stake and he would try to answer additional questions. He stated he has recommended this proposed settlement and wanted to make comments on this situation.

Tonight everyone has been absorbing this matter. He along with the Mayor and City Attorney has been absorbing and negotiating this for the past 8 months. He had been trying to absorb this issue since coming to the City 17 months ago. The stakes are huge. Our annual General Fund, which supports basic services, is approximately $21 million. This past budget session, he could not recommend a single dollar for parks and recreation because the more basic public safety needs of this community are seriously lacking. The environment we live in now only heighten those shortcomings. The stakes of this lawsuit are huge as it relates to the potential collapse of this community. He had seen Cities go into bankruptcy while heíd been in City management. This Council and this community wants no part of that legacy.

This process has been amazingly open. For example, he had never been involved been involved in litigation of a serious magnitude where there has been a public hearing, a letter to every citizen, or where in the room the public hearing is being held there are two representatives from the Sandstone negotiating team. He is very proud of the community for showing that they cared tonight. He was also proud of the City Council for how they approached this notion and honored confidentiality for nearly 7 Ĺ months on a proposed settlement that has been hanging by a thread for the last three or four months. When he arrived, he asked for a written analysis of the lawsuit and he got one and asked the city attorney if it could be made public, that is openness. We are honorable people, we are not deceitful people and that analysis is less than 50-50 and there are some categories that go lower than that of the four elements.

There was a process some time ago that was never put into writing. A city consultant had said to him in private that said may be he should have spoken up when all this was going on. There is a lot that has happened that he would never know. This Council has been steadfast in holding our team to these four driving goals and we were ready to bet the ranch if we had to come back with a tax increase, if we had to guarantee a single dollar of the insurance proceeds, if we couldnít settle this case as soon as possible or if we had to reduce basic services. That is a huge accomplishment under these circumstances. He commented he was as passionate as anyone about parkland, fought for it all his life and is absolutely committed to find every nook and cranny to find addition parkland, if this goes through, and to develop that that we do have. He would turn the budget upside down to make it happen. He said to not be able to talk to the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Commissioners was very difficult. He was concerned about the word deceit and considered all very honorable in how this task was approached. He thought there had been deceit in the former legal advice given to the City, and some serious winging it in the way this case went forward, and there were many, many, many opportunities to settle before this. Whatever the community decides its elected officials goes. He noted he was proud of the community, the Council and the proposed settlement.

Mr. Fisher, City Attorney, responded to net usable land definition. If Council saw fit to approve this the settlement documents would provide that net usable land would be all land within a particular parameter geographically but not including wetlands and the buffer. The wetlands and buffer would be included within a conservation easement. It would not include the 12 Mile Road ROW in which the City would install its utilities in any event and would ultimately have to buy it back otherwise. It would not include an area equivalent to a collector road running up the middle of the property from the north to the south. That is the definition of net usable land. Regarding, the question of whether $750,000 was enough to clean up the property the answer is we donít know. One big question would be whether or not we are talking about the 75 acres or the 75 plus the 20. This Council is likely to be committed to cleaning it up anyway but as it would be attributable to the settlement we donít know how much that would be and wonít know until they got into the process and what would be required. It may be considerably less or considerably more.

Member Kramer commented the purpose of this hearing was for public participation and to hopefully come to the conclusion that a difficult decision must be made and an acceptable solution must be found. He acknowledged the P & R Commissioners and their passion for the land and their desire to retain every inch of parkland. However, that is part of the proposal and regrettably should be part of this resolution. Part of the loss of the parkland was a loss of active recreation area but on the other hand we would retain a very large amount of area that is passive recreation. A lot of the beauty of that land is passive and some beautiful nature trails could be put in. We donít have funds to improve this land because we have to take $750,000 in tax money and set it aside for judgment. We have been paralyzed by this for the last few years and need to get it behind us to move our City forward. We need to build and develop our parks. This is not the last parkland in Novi and more would be found. This is not going to be the pristine land it appears to be and facts are facts. In order to settle, we must look at the two resources we have, tax money and parkland. It has taken a long time for the plaintiff to get to the point that he could work in the framework of the settlement that is being discussed. We are not proud of it but one positive is that as the land develops, tax money will be obtained. He recommended, with reluctance, that we continue to listen to citizen input and provide them with information and very seriously consider this as an acceptable means to get this behind us.

Member Cassis stated he was honored to be sitting on this side of the table with Mayor Clark as their leader and an honorable person. There was no iota or scintilla of deceit in him or anyone at the table over the last 8 months that they have been discussing this case. It has taken, together, a great amount of goodness, support, and deliberation in a very honest and sincere manner to bring about this possible solution. He admitted he had grown a lot more because of it and appreciated each member of Council so much more. Everyone knows how much he loves this community and how much he honored its people.

A long and turbulent history seems to be coming to a possible conclusion. A development that did not fit the Novi landscape. It did not fit its unique and already defined character and certainly a concoction of an architect, a band of flunky designers and a bunch of inexperienced and phony developers descended on a clean, quiet, good, and friendly community. They did their despicable and dirty deed and now are vulturing on a proud people to extract a pound of flesh. Member Cassis was not she when they started this whole development but his wife was and she fought this development from the first day it was proposed. She fought it with every ounce of insight and knowledge she possessed. Mr. Lancioff, the developer, was so upset with his wifeís opposition that he hurled insults on her from this podium and screamed at her to leave the community. Now we suffer the consequences and must pull together to put this nightmare behind us. This is a very difficult decision and he didnít know if the City was better off and whether he was making the right decision representing the residents. Who has all the knowledge and the absolute decision making capacity; he said he didnít. He deliberated carefully, knew there were advantages and disadvantages, and knew that many residents would agree or disagree as they were leaving tonight. That is the wonderful country we live in and the wonderful City he chose to be involved in. Member Cassis asked everyone to please listen and carefully analyze every bit of this settlement and let us all come together to a conclusion.

Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo stated signing this letter was, by far, the most difficult decision she ever had to make here or on the Planning Commission. She commented she is a tree hugger, loves open space and loved and valued our parkland. She is also a believer in our democratic process and has sat here and in Executive Sessions wondering what the people of Novi want us to do in this situation? Do they want us to raise taxes or give away the parkland? The only reason she signed the letter was because of her belief that she couldnít indiscriminately raise taxes without knowing that residents had a choice in the matter and input. She prided herself on doing that at this table in every decision that has been made. She was the only one who voted against the Ice Arena because she felt the voters should decide whether or not we were going to take a possible debt in the future that we would have to endure. Her worst fears came into play and we now owe out of our General Fund to the Ice Arena $912,000. When some wanted the parkland to be a golf course, she stood firm with Member DeRoche and said put this on the ballot and hold public hearings because the voters should decide. She signed the petition to place it on referendum and personally voted so the golf course wouldnít be on that site. She stated she would not vote for the library this year because her personal finances didnít make it a priority this year. However, she placed it on the ballot so everyone could vote for it and if the majority say we should have a new library she like everyone else would pay for it.

No one knows what would happen if the Appeals Court heard the case and she was not willing to risk it. When she said some months ago that there was no land deal, at that time there was no land deal. When Mr. Helwig approached her about whether she would consider North Novi Park she said absolutely not that is a betrayal of what the voters voted for. However, Mr. Helwig revealed the odds are not good and we could be up to $150,000,000 by then. She would like to explore the timing of a ballot issue to let the voters decide but didnít know if there was time. In the meantime, if a judgement comes down or an appeals panel is assigned to us and we go forward, we could be facing a lot more than what we are facing today. She asked the City Clerk what the deadlines were for holding a special election.

Ms. Cornelius explained that the County Board of Elections met once a month to consider ballot language. Once their decision to approve ballot language was made, another 45 days must be allowed to prepare; so we would be looking at the end of January or February at the earliest possible date. Between now and then $2.4 million in interest would be accrued along with $40,000 for special election costs.

Mr. Fisher noted that during that time there would be no assurance that an appellate panel would not be selected and that might change the dynamics of the settlement entirely.

Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo suggested that everyone ponder this and there would be another meeting in two weeks.

Member Bononi, reviewed all the documents pertaining to the lawsuit from the City Attorney when she first got on Council. She read them all. She hoped that she would have another opinion but we have a situation with regard to addressing reality here and prioritizing what our choices are. Some of the questions were very valid ones and ones she asked very early on in the process. There seemed to be a presumption that we should somehow be able to pay this judgement and it was one of the questions she asked when elected. Where is the money? In a City with our progress and wonderful development the money ought to be here but it is not. What was here was $19,000 in a contingency fund. When Mr. Helwig arrived, he found $235,000 and the second year upped that to $350,000 and without that we wouldnít have the money to clean up. She wondered why anyone would think they could just come up with the money. The plaintiff would not be satisfied with the money in increments. We cannot depend on the upturn of the economy because it might not happen. If it doesnít where would that put everyone who own and maintain properties here from the standpoint of their property tax bill and the services we offer. The services are so basic and nothing like services she received in other places she has lived. So, from the standpoint of thinking that by paying out we relegate this City to those basic services or less and that we burden our residents with that amount of tax money every single year for no benefit is an incredible trade-off. Member Bononi said a 7 year statute of limitations is present for a wrongful engineering consultancy error. She asked Mr. Fisher to check the date of purchase of the property. Mr. Fisher thought it was in1993.

The next issue she looked at was one of priority. She said she makes her living protecting water and land and does not take such matter lightly. Priority one for her as a Councilperson is home, fire, police, EMS and those things that are required to keep our community a community and keep us safe. Parks, forestry, protected wetland and woodland are dear to her heart but in this listing it doesnít hit the priorities of home and safety and she would never compromise that.

She did not know one member of Council who sat through any of these discussions and took them lightly. In this State, the judicial weighs heavily in favor of business and increasingly more toward the development community. There have been a few hard learned lessons about decisions that have gone against municipalities. The most infamous one is the Midland decision wherein the court decided if your sanitary sewer backed up in your house the City was responsible. Itís a decision we are living with. She cannot roll the dice on parkland as much as she loves it. Now that we know itís contaminated, we must remediate it. It is our responsibility if it is our land and if it was received under the circumstances that have been explained to us. Member Bononi wanted residents to know that from the standpoint of her particular position with regard to this it is a question of priority and prioritizing public services to citizens first and foremost.

Member DeRoche appreciated citizens staying through the meeting. Lawsuits have been an issue of frequency and severity. He would refrain from going back in time to point fingers and name who is responsible. Everyone here is new since 1997 so this is a relatively new Council that is focused on the future. This is the granddaddy of them all and encompasses the entire State with regard to what is going on in Novi. This has affected every decision with regard to money. As far as North Novi parkland, he lives in the north end. He worked very hard to preserve this land and keep this parkland. Until recently, he considered referring to children as political. Now it hits home with him as the focus of his life is his 6 month old daughter. He is looking at all the challenges they are trying to protect the City from. He noted $70 million would run the entire City for over 3 years. Some people say $237 a year is not much to them? Member DeRoche said he just spent a few years of the payments we are considering on half off shrubs this past week. It becomes a matter of perspective and how you weigh decisions. He said $237 a year is $20 a month and it is not money that would benefit the residents and it is $20 a month thatís going to plaintiff attorneys and developers. It is 20% of what he needed to put away for a college fund for his daughter. He had to weigh the decisions not only from a personnel perspective and what you could afford but also as a Council what you are asking in committing 50,000 residents to for the next 20 years. He asked about the viable option of paying $20-$30 million in lieu of the land. If residents voted to pay $20 million for the land and issued the bonds, would you buy the 75 acres of land back and leave all of parks wanting? Or would you want to build world class parks everywhere in the City that we currently own and them out. This was not taken lightly by Council. Member DeRoche noted he was impressed with the work ethic of this Council and the previous Council.

Regarding comments that this Council didnít want to hear resident input, he felt the opposite. He has been aware of this lawsuit since he was sworn in in 1997and worked with it ever since in briefings, executive sessions, etc. He was on the committee that interviewed the appellate lawyers and it has been a very long term commitment to get this done and with an enormous amount of information and it could not be shared with anyone. It is so refreshing to be able to share this information. He would welcome all resident input and so would Council.

Member DeRoche commented he had asked Mr. Helwig and Mr. Fisher for their opinion about holding off and put it on the ballot. The essence of a Settlement between two parties is that it gets executed before circumstances can change that throw the settlement out. If this culminates into a deal and in Councilís wisdom with the input of the public we decide to execute a deal that conveys parkland as part of it could we outside of that agreement enter into an option to buy the property back and establish the market rate with the plaintiffs but we as a city could be empowered to buy it back at a pre-determined price?

Attorney Fisher stated it is possible but it takes two sides to make a deal like that and there are various kinds of tax ramifications and other things that would come into play. One of the things that drives this potential settlement is the fact that the property is worth more in the hands of a developer then in the hands of a community for a park. So the question is what kind of number would it take to put on such an option back? It would essentially be condition subsequent where you are making a deal but a condition that occurs subsequently changes the deal. That would have to be explored with the other side to determine if they would consider it and what the number would be if they were willing to consider it.

Member DeRoche stated he would like that to at least be given its full consideration. Our overriding goal is to have a settlement to consider. If this is of something that could be of interest it could facilitate the public having their chance at expressing their opinion with their pocketbooks in the future without jeopardizing the possibility of settling this case, stopping the interest and continuing with the exposure.

Member Csordas stated Council has pored over reams of information and he appreciated the many hours of work of Mayor Clark, Mr. Helwig and Mr. Fisher invested to bring this recommendation to us. He supported the recommendation of the negotiating team.

Mayor Clark reported that 75 acres of denuded land doesnít make for much of a park if we were to buy back the land since we have to clean it up. He appreciated everyoneís adhering to respecting others viewpoints. He said each of us has shown by example what a democracy is all about. Those who would seek to deprive us havenít got a clue and would never defeat us. Even though we have different points of view, we know what freedom and liberty is about, and to those who would take it from us, it is as foreign as a rock on the moon. He respected each residentís opinion, was proud of them and proud to be a member of this community and he wouldnít want to live anywhere else. No matter how difficult times or an issue might be, we still respect each other. As long as we do that, we can get through anything.

Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo thanked and recognized Mr. Helwig and his staff for the countless hours it took to get the letters out to the citizens in a timely fashion once a decision was made. All of the staff worked very hard, the next day all of administration including Mr. Helwig stuffed, stamped and labeled envelopes to reach the residents as soon as possible.

Mayor Clark commented that all the questions raised tonight would be reviewed by him and Mr. Helwig and they would be addressed and the information decimated to the community. It would be a continuing process.

Closed public hearing at 11:56 p.m.

REPORTS

1. CITY MANAGER - None

2. DEPARTMENT REPORTS - None

3. ATTORNEY - None

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

LuAnne Kozma asked what interest rate they were working on for the bonds that was used to calculate the numbers based on SEV of $100,000 for fifteen years. Also, this would only impact the current residents and not on the future tax base and she wanted to see that addressed. Mayor Clark asked she keep in mind that the $237 per year on an SEV of $100,000 was also premised on a roughly $70 million judgement that we are looking at today. So each month there is another $600,000 in interest accruing, which raises the $237. She asked if the City had conducted an environmental analysis on the property with arsenic and if so what are those costs? Mr. Helwig said each did an analysis. The City paid for our own analysis and have documentation of 62,000 cubic yards. She was not convinced that the only way to remove this material was by complete removal of trees. If that is the case then more money would be needed to look for arsenic everywhere in this town because this property is built on old orchard too and the whole town is built on old dumps. She requested a lot more information about the process of environmental clean up dealing with arsenic. She also requested information on what the State acceptable levels of arsenic are as she thought the level had changed since it was bought. Member Bononi said we are only held to the level of contamination that was in place at the time that we owned the property and would not be penalized for an increase in rate.

Mike Duchenau commented that this was one of the best and strongest City Councils he had seen in many years and he has not been disappointed since they took over. He said it was great to see a real City Manager. He would like to see some choices on the ballot and he felt some of the emotion involved in this issue had subsided over the last few days. He felt that some portion of the parcel along 12 Mile would be appropriate. It would be good to identify the relative merits of the different parts of the proposal so that we can come up with some choices. In his opinion we could need a mix of bonds, taxes and some of the kinds of "swaps" that were proposed tonight. He suggested finding a way to propose special assessments on future building permits and commercial developments. Also, slow down the growth of Novi a little and he felt we would be a better and stronger city. What shocked everyone tonight was that there was a proposal and every Council Member had signed it. Mr. Duchenau suggested three proposals on a ballot to give residents some choices on how this could be worked out.

Carol Crawford stated that while she didnít have a clue as to what is the best decision regarding this situation but was really proud of Council as a group for their hard work. Mayor Clark once again showed himself as an able leader who was always a gentleman and always listens to the residents. Mayor Clark was right. This is a lesson in democracy as so many people turned out. It concerned her to hear the word bankruptcy uttered by Mr. Helwig and that he had been in cities where that has happened. It isnít easy to get out of that situation and not easy to get money out of property when that happens.

Jim Utley was bothered about the relationship of the judge and Sandstone. He wondered if there was any way to go after the judge or get a new trial without going to the appellate court because he believed the judge was biased. Mr. Fisher stated that issue was raised at the time of the trial. The procedure that is established for that purpose is that you would then appeal it to the Chief Judge if it were to be appealed at all and that would be part of our appeal at the Court of Appeals. At this point in time it is no longer an issue that is pending and we could no longer raise it. He said that is very unfortunate and he felt angry as did many residents.

Sarah Gray said the bond issue for parkland acquisition was passed about ten years ago and asked when it would retire. Mr. Helwig responded 2013. She asked if there was any grant money, etc. for the remediation of contamination? She asked how Sandstone handled the Meadowbrook and 13 Mile Road remediation as it was on an orchard also?

Ms. Gray advised she was the co-chair of the Haunted Woods Walled Lake Western Band and Orchestra Boosters and they are setting up at Lake Shore Park and holding their haunted woods this Friday and Saturday night from 7 PM until 10:30 PM. Also, next weekend, October 12 and 13.

Lou Ann Kozma said there are so many unknown costs involved with the parkland for settlement deal. $69 Million is a lot of money but was not insurmountable. She personally wanted to work on the DNR grants that offered up to $500,000 per year for the community. She felt that our staff people could think more creatively about how to bring in more money. Another example is the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. There is a pile of State tax dollars that we never go after for our festivals or anything like that.

Mayor Clark asked that the letters received by Council regarding this public hearing be exhibits A, B, C and D and be copied and attached to the minutes of this meeting. He asked Ms. Cornelius to indicate who the letters are from and if possible if they are in support or opposition.

Ms. Cornelius said there was a letter from Alan Cronenwett who wanted to reject the proposed plan. Also, a letter from Norman Knight, President of the South Pointe Condo Association, and he too wanted to pay the piper now and a letter from Carl and Margaret Laurie who opposed the proposed plan and was in favor of a bond issue. Also, James Harrington, who stated his whole=hearted and enthusiastic support for the proposed settlement of Sandstone.

 

 

CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)

CM-01-10-271 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Bononi; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:

To approve the Consent Agenda as presented.

Roll call vote on CM-01-10-271 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas,

DeRoche, Kramer

Nays: None

A. Approve Minutes of:

1. September 24, 2001, Regular meeting

B. Approval of Claims and Accounts Ė Warrant No. 607

MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė Part I

Authorization for the City Manager, for a period of 180 days, to consider the

display of the American Flag a Community Special Event under Section 28-8

(6) of the Sign Ordinance.

CM-01-10-272 Moved by Lorenzo, Seconded by Csordas; CARRIED

UNANIMOUSLY: To authorize the City Manager, for a period

Of 180 days, to consider the display of the American Flag a

Community Special Event under Section 28-8 (6) of the Sign

Ordinance.

DISCUSSION

Member DeRoche asked if this was related to his request of the last meeting? Mayor Clark said it was. Member Kramer said it would take the restrictions off for 180 days. Member DeRoche said this was not what he asked for. He asked to remove Sections 28-8, Subsection 4A.

CM-01-10- Moved by DeRoche,

To amend the motion to remove from Section 28-8 subsection

4, Subsection A the last sentence after 28-8, 4b,5. remove from

there and forward the comma "and shall not exceed the

following size restrictions". Eliminate all of the size restrictions and the subsequent paragraph regarding the height and placement of poles bearing the flag. Also, that Subsection b start with the first sentence to be added saying "excluding flags bearing the official designation of the United States of America, remove the word except, and put comma "or as otherwise provided in the Novi Zoning Ordinance".

Amendment died for lack of second.

Mayor Clark said there had been discussion that some people in the past had used the flag as advertising on business. Council wanted to say that for 180 days the size restrictions would be lifted and then Council would look at it again in 180 days.

Member DeRoche stated he had made a specific motion that was seconded to have this brought forward with this section for our consideration so we could do this and have it put on for Matters for Council action. He remembered Member Kramer talking about potentially doing this type of compromise but he did not make the motion. He felt we should do a better job of putting peoples issues on an agenda in the manner in which they proposed the issue. It sounded like everyone else was in agreement but no one had discussed it with him.

Mayor Clark suggested either tabling this until the next meeting. Member DeRoche asked that it be referred back to the Clerk to bring forward his original motion at the next meeting. He did not want this tabled.

Roll call vote on CM-01-10-272 Yeas: Lorenzo, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas,

DeRoche, Kramer, Clark

Nays: None

Authorization to award bid for Old Novi Road Bike Path to Peter A. Basile

Sons, Inc. in the amount of $119,488.35.

CM-01-10-273 Moved by Kramer, seconded by Bononi; CARRIED

UNANIMOUSLY: To authorize to award bid for Old Novi Road

Bike Path to Peter A. Basile Sons, Inc. in the amount of $119,488.35.

DISCUSSION

Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked if this would be done this year? Mr. Helwig said yes, this year. Mr. Nowicki said in about 45 days and they were doing everything they could with the design, etc. If delayed until spring she would have suggested rebidding it.

Roll call vote on CM-01-10-273 Yeas: Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche,

Kramer, Clark, Lorenzo

Nays: None

Adoption of Resolution supporting the issuance of a RCOC Construction

Permit and the request for a RCOC Traffic Control Order for the Ten Mile

Road/Cranbrooke Drive Intersection Improvement Project traffic signal.

CM-01-10-274 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Bononi; CARRIED

UNANIMOUSLY: To adopt Resolution supporting the issuance

of a RCOC Construction Permit and the request for a RCOC

Traffic Control Order for the Ten Mile Road/Cranbrooke Drive

Intersection Improvement Project traffic signal.

Roll call vote on CM-01-10-274 Yeas: Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Clark,

Lorenzo, Bononi

Nays: None

 

 

Adoption of the Resolution and authorization to make an Offer to Purchase

Real Estate for the 42430 12 Mile, LLC property, Parcel No. 50-22-11-300-005,

in the amount of $45,570 (just compensation and grading permit), plus

$44,810.50 additional compensation for the Twelve Mile GAP Project.

CM-01-10-275 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED

UNANIMOUSLY: To adopt Resolution and authorization to

make an Offer to Purchase Real Estate for the 42430 12 Mile,

LLC property, Parcel No. 50-22-11-300-005, in the amount of

$45,570 (just compensation and grading permit), plus

$44,810.50 additional compensation for the Twelve Mile GAP

Project.

Roll call vote on CM-01-10-275 Yeas: Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer,

Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi

Nays: None

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None

MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES

1) Status of outstanding Village Oaks roads - Lorenzo

Mayor Clark received a call wanting to know if they would get the final layer on the road this year? The person who called said he and his neighbors were upset that their lawns had been chewed up on both side and he asked if it would be repaired and who would pay for it. Mr. Nowicki said the restoration is ongoing and the construction company would come back and take care of everything. The plans are to definitely to put the wearing course on this year. The last remaining road they have to base in is Village Oaks and the last few weeks they had not had good construction weather and it saturated the base material. But weather has allowed it to dry out and the crews are out today and hopefully it will be based out and ready for the wearing course.

Mayor Clark asked that Mr. Nowicki send a letter to the officers and the Village Oaks Board of Directors explaining this so they can pass this on in their newsletters.

Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo didnít think the people of Village Oaks felt that they had been given adequate timely information and perhaps it would be best if Mr. Nowicki and/or Mr. Helwig to meet with the residents and discuss their concerns. She spoke with a lady who was concerned about muddy streets, continued construction traffic, school bus routes that had been upset, etc. Mr. Nowicki said he would take care of it and Mr. Helwig agreed and Mayor Clark said he would be available in the evenings and would be happy to join them.

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None

COMMUNICATIONS

1. Letter from Liquor Control Commission Re: Quotas for available on-premises licenses.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before Council, the meeting was adjourned at 12:31 AM.

 

 

________________________________ _______________________________

Richard J. Clark, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk

 

Transcribed by: _________________________

Charlene McLean

Date approved: October 15, 2001